On August 14th, Docurama is releasing Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars on DVD. This documentary chronicles the Refugee All Stars from their local refugee camps to their first recording sessions and back, spanning three years in the lives of these remarkable people. The release of this documentary will coincide with the group’s new album and the launch of an international tour.
After being forced from their homes by a brutal, decade-long civil war, six Sierra Leonean musicians found an unlikely form of healing to deal with losing everything — they formed a band. The band’s sound — a mixture of home-grown West African beats, roots-reggae and Western-influenced R&B combined with heartfelt lyrics which condemn war and encourage social change — gave hope to their countrymen and has been praised around the world, leading to the band’s first U.S. tour this summer. Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars chronicles the courageous band over three years, from Guinean refugee camps back to their war-ravaged homeland, as they spread a message of peace and tolerance. Serving as a unique tribute to the power of music and the celebration of the human spirit, this award-winning film from directors Zach Niles and Banker White, will be available on DVD for the first time August 14.
Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars follows band mates Reuben Koroma, Francis “Franco” Langba, Efuah Grace, Mohammed Bangura, Arahim Kamara and Alhadji “Black Nature” Kamara through their tour of local refugee camps, debut recording sessions and a painful return to their country for the first time since the war.
Through their unflinching spirit, their powerful stories of survival and their joyful music, Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars celebrates the best of the human spirit. And as violent conflicts multiply around the globe and the worldwide refugee crisis deepens, this poignant and powerful film is a humanizing ode to all the survivors of war whose brutal realities are often unwittingly diminished through mass media sound bytes.
The DVD release of Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars will top off a stellar summer for the group, coming on the heels of the debut of the film on PBS’s acclaimed P.O.V. series in June, the release of the band’s new album, “Anti-debut Living Like A Refugee,” in July, and in the midst of their nationwide summer tour which includes performances at the 75th Anniversary of Save the Children and The Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. Their just-released collaboration with Aerosmith on John Lennon’s “Give Peace a Chance,” is features on the all-star Instant Karma CD, with proceeds to benefit Amnesty’s Darfur campaign.
Executive produced by multi-platinum hip-hop artist and Hollywood blockbuster actor Ice Cube, Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars has won seven film festival awards, including The Grand Jury Prize at the AFI Fest and the Audience Award at the Miami International Film Festival. It has also garnered lavish praise from critics and rock n’ roll royalty, including Keith Richards, Sir Paul McCartney and Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith.
The DVD release is enhanced with a 12-page booklet, a featurette, deleted scenes, Musical Moments, the theatrical trailer and information on ninemillion.org, a UN Refugee Agency led campaign to raise awareness and funds for education and sport programs for refugee youth. Also, for every copy of the DVD sold after its release on August 14, Red Envelope will donate $1 to benefit the ninemillon.org campaign. And, starting now, Netflix customers can add the film to their rental queue in advance of the retail release date.